Real World/Road Rules Challenge Opening: Insulting Or Complimentary?

rwrrI’ve never seen any of the previous Real World / Road Rules Challenges before, but I perked up when I saw Ruthie, from The Real World: Hawaii, shown throughout the trailer for the new season titled: The Duel 2: New Zealand.

So I watched it and, aside from the typical backstabbing, gossip blabber, and fights going on, I came away thinking more so about the opening credits. Unlike most reality-gameshows-set-in-exotic-locales where contestants are shown amongst flashes of jungle, fires, and monkeys the producers decided to get the cast involved with the native culture – by making them do the Maori haka!

I didn’t know how to feel about this one. Was it insulting to have these non-Poly, minus Ruthie, MTV-ers doing this ancient dance and chant? Or were the producers/writers trying to pay homage to the land / people where they’re filming the show?

I’ve seen the haka (mainly in reference to the All Blacks rugby team) taken from its traditional meaning and used in commercials for cars in Italy to bakeries in New Zealand and it makes me wonder – has the Haka become the new hula? Is it being exploited for its sheer exoticism? I doubt many viewers of the RW/RR Challenge will have an interest in the history of why Maori’s chant that way or stick their tongues out aggressively. I believe the majority of the MTV demographic (and hopefully I’m wrong) will view the dance as sheer savagery stereotypically attributed to Polynesians.

Alright, let me get off my soap box. All-in-all, they tried but their version of haka was whack! Most of them had a sheer look of confusion on their faces. Poor babies! Oh, well, we’ll see what else this season has in store. (The opening starts around the 5:30 mark).



2 Responses to “Real World/Road Rules Challenge Opening: Insulting Or Complimentary?”

  1. I totally agree. I lived in Hawaii for 5 years and had so many friends that were Maori. I also worked at the Polynesian Cultural Center while I was there and learned the deep rooted meaning behind cultural dances like the Haka. It is very sacred to the Maori people and its insulting to watch a bunch of idiots pretty much mock it by not performing it properly and understanding what they are even doing. I totally have a love and deep respect for the Maori culture and the people of New Zealand. If I were of Maori desent I would be offended. Women arent even supposed to be doing it in the way they are at the beginning of the show. Its frustrating to see.

  2. There was a behind the scenes look at the making of the intro and MTV interviewed the Maori coach for a quick minute. But, I wonder what his feelings were.

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